Fox Rejected Plans To Put HERBIE And Fantasticar In Fantastic Four

Josh Trank didn't endear himself to Fantastic Four fans when it was revealed by Kate Mara (via Live For Films) that the director encouraged the cast NOT to read any of the comic books. This gave off the impression that Trank wasn't fond of the source material, but apparently that wasn't entirely the case. Entertainment Weekly reports that Trank very much wanted to include H.E.R.B.I.E. and the Fantasticar, but was overruled by a Fox executive.

By all accounts, Trank dove in with zeal, devising plans that combined playful comic-book elements of the Marvel Comics characters with the darker, almost horrorlike tone that made Chronicle so bracing. The director had a healthy relationship with Emma Watts, Fox's president of production, who has a reputation for aggressive handling of filmmakers. But Trank may have been too enthusiastic, constantly throwing new and bigger ideas into the mix and changing his own mind about major plot points, like the kids of powers Doctor Doom should possess. Watts turned up her nose at geeky elements, like adding the squad's flying car or comic-relief robot H.E.R.B.I.E. She deemed Trank's ideas too scattered; he felt she wasn't getting it. - EW

H.E.R.B.I.E. (Humanoid Experimental Robot, B-type, Integrated Electronics) is a robot sidekick that debuted in the 1978 animated series and was conceived by Stan Lee and designed by Jack Kirby. H.E.R.B.I.E. replaced Johnny Storm/The Human Torch as the fourth team member. At the time, The Human Torch couldn't be used in the cartoon as the character was optioned for an unmade solo film. H.E.R.B.I.E. was introduced in the comics shortly after the cartoon made its premiere.

The Fantasticar is the flying car (aka bathtub) Reed Richards created to transport the team. It made its feature film debut in 2007's Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.


A contemporary re-imagining of Marvel's original and longest-running superhero team, centers on four young outsiders who teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe, which alters their physical form in shocking ways. Their lives irrevocably upended, the team must learn to harness their daunting new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy.